Marble Hall Garden Apartments faces scrutiny after students express dissatisfaction

Students residing in Marble Hall Garden Apartments are experiencing unkempt living conditions in their university housing assignments.

Marble Hall Gardens Apartments is an off-campus housing apartment complex for upperclassmen students at Morgan State University.

Brianna Taylor

Marble Hall Gardens Apartments is an off-campus housing apartment complex for upperclassmen students at Morgan State University.

Jah'I Selassie, Staff Writer

The Office of Residence Life and Housing’s website currently states “We provide a safe and comfortable living environment that enhances the academic success and achievements of our students.”

However, many students and residents believe the university’s maintenance staff may have fallen short on that promise this semester.

A current Morgan student was scheduled to move into her university off-campus apartment in Marble Hall Gardens Apartments on Aug. 21, but she was surprised by the conditions of the apartment.

The student posted images on Instagram of trash, clothes and food remnants left in her apartment.

The student’s posts displayed the neglect and lack of maintenance in preparing students’ housing assignments prior to moving in.

The Spokesman’s staff attempted to contact the student and did not receive a response.

This student was not the only person to experience distressing events in Marble Hall during move-in day.

Makaia Turkes, junior biology major, said her apartment carries an unpleasant smell and complained about the current state of her bathroom.

“The first day I moved in there was a stench in the room…the bathroom was trifling because it was an older room, there were marks all over the tub and chipped paint,” Turkes said.

Turkes expressed empathy toward other students that may have to move into these unpleasant units.

On top of the issues students have encountered with the condition of their apartment, there have been cases of students that were assigned to an apartment that was already occupied.

Jabari Austin, sophomore electrical engineering major, moved into his apartment at Marble Hall on Aug. 21 and discovered a female student had already been living there.

According to the Office Residence Life and Housing website, male and female students are not allowed to room together.

Douglas Gwynn, director of the Office of Residence Life and Housing, acknowledged the instances where several apartments in Marble Hall had occupants prior to new residents moving in.

Gwynn said, “We responded to a number of complaints from students. Unfortunately, a number of apartments in Marble Hall Gardens already had occupants in the apartment. Maybe this was the cause of that issue.”

The female student was relocated to Austin’s apartment because she was awaiting a new room assignment from the Office of Residence Life and Housing.

Austin said he was temporarily placed in Thurgood Marshall Apartments, an on-campus apartment complex.

“They [the Office of Residence Life and Housing] didn’t even notify me that she had moved out after I left. Move in day was messy and unorganized.” Austin said.

Some of the unpleasant incidents came as a shock to members of the residential staff as well.

Kenya Chase-Mercer, a resident assistant at Marble Hall said, “all of us [resident assistants] were surprised that rooms were not ready. Yeah, it was interesting to us because we knew that we had done our part.”

Mercer added that some of the resident assistants went as far as putting on gloves and cleaning units themselves to ensure the cleanliness of every room.

Gwynn said many improvements have been made to apartments in Marble Hall since the student move-in back in August.

“We addressed any issues that students came forward with. We had many areas that had some issues with weather that caused some roof leaks and things of that nature. Students may have already been in units and hadn’t reported maintenance issues.,” said Gwynn.

In terms of improving students’ living conditions, Gwynn said the Office of Residence Life has already started working on the issues.

Gwynn said, “We’ve already made improvements. Any issues that we’ve experienced we’ve already expressed and resolved.”